Town council to discuss proposals for community sports area in Barnard Castle (From The Advertiser Series)
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Town council to discuss proposals for community sports area in Barnard Castle
AMBITIOUS plans to develop a community sports area in a County Durham town are to be discussed by town councillors.
The project would see two play areas and a neighbouring sports field in Barnard Castle merged into one larger facility.
The idea has been put forward by town councillor Thom Robinson as a way of further improving community areas in the town.
The three areas involved are Green Lane play area, Kalafat play area and Ten Fields, which is home to Barnard Castle FC.
Coun Robinson said all that separated the three areas was some fencing and a section of hawthorn hedging.
“There has been a concerted effort to improve our play areas in recent years,” he said.
“I would like to see Green Lane, Ten Fields and Kalafat joined as a space through which the public can walk.
"In addition, I would like to see a community garden scheme built at Kalafat.”
Coun Robinson's project also envisages new tennis courts and the redevelopment of facilities at the football field.
Initial costs would be minimal, with a voluntary group, such as Veg Out in Barney, developing the community garden, while the metal fence could be sold for scrap.
Coun Robinson's proposals will be discussed at a meeting of Barnard castle Town Council's services committee on Monday, however, initial analysis has thrown up some likely obstacles.
A report to the committee states the three areas of land are all owned by Fields in Trust – formerly the National Playing Fields Association – and although the town council is a managing trustee for the areas, any changes must be backed by the trust.
Ten Fields is leased to the football club, which would have to give consent to any changes.
The report also warns that opening up the area could result in it becoming used as a 'rat run'.
However, the installation of a full size tennis court, plus other items of sports or fitness equipment, is considered acceptable, subject to favourable public support, and it is suggested the football club be encouraged to consider the redevelopment of facilities as this could open up funding opportunities.
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